I kind of want to offer some thoughts about the Trump-Russia-Wikileaks connection for a second. It’s a little complicated and a bit conspiratorial, but I think I have a handle on what’s going on and I would like some thoughts. Spoilers: It ain’t good for Donny.
First off, as annoyed as I am with Clinton about some of the Wikileaks revelations, the fact is that there’s nothing new that I’ve seen – and I spent a good while watching Jordan Chariton of TYT read through these illegal obtained e-mails. I don’t think they change anything, they only confirm that if (when) elected, Clinton will need to be held accountable to the kind of progressive congress we have an opportunity to build.
Second, with regards to the connections, if any, between them all: I was just reading a Chicago Tribune article about how Trump discredits the intelligence briefing he got about Russia’s involvement. That made me remember a time when he actively called on foreign interests to hack into Clinton’s e-mails. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html) Now, I’m cool with leaks, right? I think Edward Snowden deciding to reveal just how perverse American espionage on its own citizens was amounted to an act of dubious heroism. This is qualitatively different: This is not using legal access to reveal illegal activity, but rather obtaining illegal access to reveal legal activity. People have a right to protection from unwarranted search and seizure, and Donald Trump publicly begged for – and apparently received! – people to violate that right. Am I saying Trump is involved himself? No, but when he calls for things using the power of a Presidential campaign, he bears responsibility. In my eyes, he has encouraged lawlessness and he has gotten it.
Special notice: He seems to be calling for everything from Clinton’s assassination (yes, he did, twice) to open treason towards the democratic process of the United States Elections. The man is a neo-fascist and he cannot be allowed anywhere near the Presidency. If you’re a conservative and you hate Hillary Clinton, vote for Gary Johnson. You don’t vote for Hitler because Chamberlain is the other big name on the ballot.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Russian connection itself. I agree that it’s somewhat presumptuous to point at Russia directly and accuse them of deliberate acts of espionage against us. Of course, Putin’s also ex-KGB and has more than a few axes to grind against us for how we crashed Russia’s economy in the aftermath of the Crimean invasion. However, haven’t you ever noticed how Trump seems to look up to Putin like a successful big brother? Haven’t you noticed that Trump promised Putin wasn’t going into Ukraine – even though he already had? Haven’t you noticed that Trump seems to deliberately turn a blind eye towards Russian aggression? Didn’t you see those pictures of Putin, Michael T. Flynn (Trump’s military adviser!) and – of all people – Jill Stein having dinner together? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/08/15/trump-adviser-michael-t-flynn-on-his-dinner-with-putin-and-why-russia-today-is-just-like-cnn/)
Doesn’t that all suggest that there are, perhaps, some back-channel conversations happening between Putin and Trump’s camp?
I’m not trying to say there is a grand conspiracy, because I have no concrete evidence that the two sides are in collusion. What I do have, however, is evidence of an ideological equity between the two: A tacit sort of “we have common interests” understanding that undermining Clinton’s campaign – and even the legitimacy of the U.S. Elections, themselves – would benefit both sides of the equation. Putin wins by further abusing the American attention span, exhausted by the trials of this particularly deplorable election; Trump wins by creating a cult-like belief that the system is rigged. Recently, three men were caught planning November 9th terrorist bombings of immigrant communities, and they espouse the exact same anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-American, thoroughly-Trumpian garbage. (http://www.kwch.com/content/news/Federal-officials-to-announce-arrests-in-major-investigation-397095961.html) That’s right! Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric has inspired domestic terrorist (“Militia”) attacks! Exactly what a neo-fascist would want, and exactly what Russia might like to see to divide us against ourselves.
I urge anyone who is thinking of Donald Trump to ask yourselves whether or not he’s really putting his country first in this election. Whether he really remembers the sacrifices of heroes on 9/11, whether he understands even an inkling of what our soldiers face should the international order he despises break down, and whether he might have some debts to pay back after Russia so conveniently seemed to step up and help his campaign out. There’s a difference between leaks and theft, just as there is a difference between coincidence, common interests, and deliberate conspiring. I firmly believe Trump to be in that middle group, and whenever Trump suggests something that we later see play out it makes me wonder what the real cost of that cooperation might be. Yes, it alarms me. It should alarm you, too.